A Bahá’í who has a problem may wish to make his own decision upon it after prayer and after weighing all the aspects of it in his own mind; . . . he may prefer to seek the council of individual friends or of professional counselors such as his doctor or lawyer so that he can consider such advice when making his decision; or in a case where several people are involved, such as a family situation, he may want to gather together those who are affected so that they may arrive at a collective decision. There is also no objection whatever to a Bahá’í asking a group of people to consult together on a problem facing him. (The Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 179, #589)
Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE this Faith? Quotes like this remind me of the principle of moderation in all things; and how every principle is treated on its own merit; and how many ways there are of looking at issues and solving problems.
I especially like the reminder to pray, which gives us access to the entire Company on High and allows us to find solutions we might never have thought of on our own.
I remember at one time in my recovery from childhood trauma, misunderstanding “Thy Name is my healing”, thinking all I had to do is pray, yet here we’re told it’s OK to seek counsel from professional people. I also like the idea that family members can consult together with those who are affected by a decision, which brings in the idea that younger family members have rights too.
There are pros and cons for making decisions on my own vs. with others. On my own, I risk making ill-informed decisions; if I involve others, I risk wasting time. Because Baha’u’llah puts so much value on consultation, I’m reminded that sometimes the process is more important than the outcome. Sometimes the act of consulting prayerfully with others can have consequences that have nothing to do with the decision that has to be made, such as strengthening family ties; or work teams.
Knowing the options in front of me when I need to make decisions, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Learning How to Consult Effectively